Posted by: Karen Smith | April 27, 2011

New Jersey Folk Festival Celebrates 37th Year at Rutgers Day

Thanks to Professor Angus Gillespie for this guest post on the New Jersey Folk Festival:

The festival will celebrate the rich folk culture of Kalmykia at this year's event.

We here at the Folk Festival warmly welcome you to come out and celebrate the rich folk culture of Kalmykia at this year’s event.

A culture of Mongolic decent, the Kalmyk inhabit the autonomous Republic of Kalmykia on the western shore of the Caspian Sea. Kalmykia and its inhabitants offer a fascinating glimpse into the ancient culture, song, and dance of western Mongolic peoples.

Kalmyk communities were originally established during the 1950s in Philadelphia, as well as in Paterson and Howell, New Jersey. In 2000, about 3,000 of them lived in the Garden State.  Two dance troupes will highlight the dance and lyric folk songs in which the Kalmyks participate in maintaining their culture.

The festival will also be honoring Gordon Bok, a scholar and famed maritime folksinger who acts as caretaker of the music and liturgy of the Kalmyk. Bok, a non-Kalmyk, will receive a lifetime achievement award at noon on the Skylands Stage.

Children will be able to make a variety of Kalmyk-inspired crafts, including coloring projects, sand art, and spin art. Don’t miss the face painting and other children’s activities as well.

Whether you have come every year for the past 36 years, or are a newcomer to the festival, we guarantee that you will enjoy a day of food, crafts, and entertainment.

If you are interested in volunteering for this year’s festival, please visit our official website for more information.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday!


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